WHAT IS DYNAMICS ALL ABOUT REALLY?
In short, it really means how well a speaker copes with the range of volume from soft to loud during music playback or movies. A speaker/subwoofer that is not able to reproduce the entire dynamic range of the source will sound very dull, laid back, and flat. Some speakers/subwoofers are able to handle the dynamic range of the content, which means they hit the SPL levels they should according to the input signal – but that is just half of the equation, they need to be able to follow the input signal also without any sign of compression or distortion. It is not an easy feat, but when done right it makes listening to music and watching movies so that much more engaging and lifelike.
MACRO & MICRO DYNAMICS
A really dynamic speaker/subwoofer can scare you when they are supposed to. Like when an entire orchestra hit each of their instruments at the same time with all their effort, or an explosion or gunshot in a movie. In real life these events can really scare or at least startle you, and a very dynamic speaker/subwoofer will do the same. These are what one refer to as macro dynamics.
Microdynamics on the other hand has more to do with the detail of for example percussive instruments, the fingernails touching guitar strings, a drum stick lightly tapping a drum, or similar sounds – if a speaker represents good microdynamics these type of sounds will have a real sound to them, somewhat distinct and absolutely discernable from other sounds.
HOW IS THIS ACHIEVED?
Firstly you need a powerful motor that has complete control of the cone movement, but just a powerful motor in itself is not enough. If you have a heavy mass that needs to be moved back and forth it is still going to sound sloppy and slow. Some subwoofer manufacturers actually do that on purpose, to achieve greater performance at very low frequencies. That is the recipe for a one-note kind of bass that lacks dynamics.
In our thinking it is a bit like, let’s say having a sumo wrestler compete against a professional sprinter in a 100m run. They are both really strong, but that big guy is just not going to be in even the same realm. It’s the same for woofers, if you make the moving mass as light as possible within the specifications of its frequency response, and couple it to a really powerful motor you have a very good starting point for extreme dynamics. This is how we start our designs for speakers and subwoofers. Obviously, there is some secret sauce involved behind the nuts and bolts, but that is the basics.
You can get both, depth and dynamics, but it takes more than a powerful motor and massive suspension.